Crime: Police arrested a 38-year-old man from Serthi, Jomotsangkha for trafficking marijuana at around 2am on May 4.

Following a tip off, a police patrol seized 17 sacks of dried marijuana weighing 40kgs each from a Bolero pick-up truck that the man was driving. The man is a school bus driver in Jomotsangkha.

This is the largest quantity of marijuana seized in the country so far.

A police official said that the villagers had carried the sacks from Serthi till the road point, after which the man loaded the cannabis into his Bolero. The man was on the way back when he was arrested.

Upon interrogation, the man confessed to police that six other men from Serthi were involved in the illegal transaction.

The man revealed the names of his four accomplices while the identity of two other men are still unknown.

“The man said he can identify the two men but he doesn’t know their names,” a police official said.

Police are searching for the six accomplices who are still at large.

The police received the information that about 20 Serthi villagers are involved.

The case is under investigation and the man is detained for illicit trafficking of cannabis and its derivatives.

According to Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan (NDPSSA) 2015, a defendant shall be guilty of an offence of illicit trafficking of cannabis and its derivatives, regardless of the degree of purity, if he or she imports, exports, stores, sells, purchases, transports, distributes, or supplies cannabis or its derivatives if it is more than 50 grams

The offence of illicit trafficking of cannabis and its derivatives shall be a felony of third degree if the quantity is more than two times the quantity determined in the Schedule VII of the Act that is 50 grams.

Meanwhile, more than 20 students undergoing a guiding course in Thimphu were sensitised on prevention of crimes in the country. A police official said that a tourist guide represents the country and therefore they should be a responsible citizens and abide by the law. “Tourist guides have to make sure that their guests are safe with them.”

The students were informed about the crime rate, and possession and trafficking of controlled substances, among others.

Tshering Dorji, one of the students said that he is not aware of guides getting involved in crime. However, the briefing will assist him in becoming a better tourist guide, he said.

From 2013 till date, of a total of 61 freelance guides and tour operators were involved in crime, 37 were involved in cases related to controlled substances.

Dechen Tshomo